Model-Based Robotic Dynamic Motion Control for the Robonaut 2 Humanoid Robot

Paper published at IEEE Humanoids 2013, IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robotics

Abstract—Robonaut 2 (R2), an upper-body dexterous humanoid robot, has been undergoing experimental trials on board the International Space Station (ISS) for more than a year. R2 will soon be upgraded with two climbing appendages, or legs, as well as a new integrated model-based control system. This control system satisfies two important requirements; first, that the robot can allow humans to enter its workspace during operation and second, that the robot can move its large inertia with enough precision to attach to handrails and seat track while climbing around the ISS. This is achieved by a novel control architecture that features a joint-level embedded impedance control law which is tightly interfaced with a kinematic and dynamic coordinated control system that resides on centralized processors. This paper presents the integrated control algorithm as well as several test results that illustrate R2’s safety features and performance.